Andrew Bolton and Rei Kawakubo

KEEPING THE FAITH: In these politically charged times, it appears that the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute isn’t afraid to take on its own controversial topics.

Fashion and religion will be the theme of next year’s major exhibition, according to multiple sources, including a few who said they have been privy to preliminary discussions. A Met spokeswoman declined to comment Friday.

With the May opening still many months away, the planning is still in the very early stages. Sources describe the project as serious and ambitious, and it is understood the idea was hatched long before the current “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: The Art of the In-Between” show, slated to close Sept. 4. A host of European designers have referenced religion in their collections, including the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano and Riccardo Tisci. The likeness of the Madonna has been appropriated by Dolce & Gabbana, and the iconography of Jesus has been featured in Jeremy Scott’s collection. Prabal Gurung once brought Buddhist monks to his runway.

In recent years, the Costume Institute exhibitions have been major blockbusters for The Met. Last year’s “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” attracted 752,995 visitors, making it the museum’s seventh most visited show.

For more on, see:

‘Rei Kawakubo/Commes des Garçons’ Is the Met’s Spring Costume Institute Exhibition

The Met’s ‘Manus x Machina’ Aims to Show Fashion is Unquestionably Art

Kenneth Jay Lane Loans 25 Pieces to The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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